Track Club is a collective of music-lovers who met on Endlesss and formed an enclave of creative positivity that transcends the music they produce together.
For Track Club members, musical creativity is a path of continual progress and learning, with a weekly milestone to aim for. Every week they jam together on Endlesss, turning those jams into an album of finished tracks which is released each Thursday.
The music Track Club makes is vibrant and personal, fresh and impressive – you might even call it a musical subculture in its own right – but Track Club is more than that. For its members it’s almost become a social service, a new family that helps them overcome personal challenges and find a sense of purpose and belonging through creative connection. They didn’t know how much they yearned for it until they found it.
We’re all on the ropes right now, whether stuck at home alone, recently bereaved, juggling home-schooling or facing financial uncertainty. At times like these the connections we have to the people around us are what keeps us going. Track Club are showing us how to stay connected and keep moving forward creatively, stronger together. And they're finding some groundbreaking ways to use Endlesss, too.
We asked some of Track Club's members a few questions about their story and process and were heart-warmed to hear their tales of overcoming struggles and finding joy and companionship in the process.
What role did music-making play in your life before Endlesss / Track Club?
@dorolfe: For many years I’ve been living with an anxiety disorder and clinical depression. I started playing in our school orchestra and got into electronic music early but my depression/anxiety kept getting worse. By my 30s I couldn’t really enjoy anything, even music. I felt trapped in my body. I started going to therapy and getting medicated. I was about a year into treatment when I discovered Endlesss. The app really helped with my depression, just losing myself for sometimes hours with strangers was having a big impact on my mood. I told my doctor I was making music again, and he said he could tell the difference and definitely keep doing it.
@firephly: I've been involved with music since 2002, but didn't get serious until I released my first solo album in 2015. In the last 2 years, music has been a regular daily practice for me. I had also wanted to work with others but had a very hard time finding people where I’m based that were open to working with me.
@andy_mac: Endlesss was the thing that was missing from my past music making life! I was in a band back in high school and some of college and it just stopped as life got ahead of me. This was back in 2003-2004 I would say.
@tpj: Music has been a big part of my life before Endless but i lost my passion doing it and completely stopped making music.
How have you developed creatively through your involvement with Endlesss & Track Club?
@dorolfe: Track Club’s weekly turn around is like a boot camp that’s helped me to do the “work” side of music more efficiently, while jamming on Endlesss with friends has boosted my confidence in musical choices. I’m just going with the flow more. Practically, just the repetition of composing, playing, mixing and mastering over and over is making me better at making music. It doesn’t hurt that jamming on Endlesss is addictively fun.
@firephly: Endlesss is a game changer for music production. It allows for sketching out ideas solo in a quick and effective way. However, the real magic is in the collaboration and community. I had never collaborated with other producers until I found Endlesss. Being able to jump in with people at any time and be in the moment creating something together was very exciting for me. I soon found people that I worked well with in the jams and was eventually invited into Track Club. Track Club began as an exercise, everyone jams in the same jam throughout a week and then produces a track from that jam in that same week. Once I joined Track Club I produced a track every week for 12 straight weeks. I found that my work flow became quicker and more intuitive. What has transpired since is a tight-knit community.
@deadkousin: As with anything - iteration = improvement. Track Club has given me inspiration, motivation and focus. I have started finishing tracks and actually crafting songs and recording my vocals for the first time. I feel like my production skills are back at the highest level that I’ve achieved before.
@andy_mac: As a past drummer and keyboard player, I am learning through Endlesss that apparently there has also been a bass player and lead synth player hiding in me for all these years! I am thrilled when I leave a bassline in a jam and come back hours or sometimes days later and my bass part is still playing even though the original rifff was entirely different!
@_theboundless_: Regarding Endlesss: Listening more deeply. Not getting attached to ideas and allowing flow. Being able to write faster. In fact right after Endlesss launched I needed to score incidental music for The Odyssey at the university I work in and I definitely was able to trust myself more and make choices from what I’ve discovered in the Endlesss workflow. Really HEARING again. Not thinking of frequencies and a static piece but how something evolves.
@fancyspectacles: The app’s idea seemed to be offering something I’d been wishing for basically forever, connection through music. It took me a week or so to really get my head round how the app worked. Since that point I realised I was hooked and I started to build a home studio around the iPad and Endlesss. It became a morning ritual to wake early and get an hour or two of jamming to start my day.
The initial anonymity was the thing that gave me confidence to post riffs and to my utter surprise they received some positive feedback encouraging me to post more. I saw myself completing my first ever track, becoming a member of an online community (a personal first I had no internet friends before this!) and I lost my musical shyness which had been crippling me previously! So growth wise it’s been everything for me.
I was a bedroom guitarist and now I’ve even been referred to as an “artist” by a few people, lol. Truly inspiring people that I’m literally awestruck to be in a collective with, I pinch myself every day!
@tpj: Getting back the creative spark for making music. And now actually sharing tracks online.
How has Track Club / Endlesss changed your approach to the genre of music you make?
@dorolfe: One interesting bit is that through Track Club each of us are starting to develop our own sound. It’s starting to get to where I’m not just making generic sounding techno or whatever, but something with personality. Additionally, my process now is more subtractive than additive. We have so much material in our Track Club sessions that I spend a lot of time cutting down 8 minute tracks to 4, and stratifying thick mixes to highlight layers.
@firephly: I feel many times while using Endlesss you will find yourself in a jam that may not be "your genre" but you get pulled into it and participate. I now tend to be more open to other styles while in Endlesss and outside while producing tracks.
@deadkousin: I feel like I have started to develop a distinctive and coherent style and am really enjoying the collaborative approach. I feel like I’m less ‘precious’ about my music! I have also graduated from tracker software to 21st century music production!
@andy_mac: I have learned that Electronic Music is waaayyyy more than just “boots and pants and boots and pants” and so many doors have opened up in my head as far as how many genres I have yet to explore.
@fancyspectacles: I don’t know the genre of music I make tbh, I’m still figuring that out. I’m making a lot of drum and bass in the meantime lol. I like putting live percussion into Endlesss and guitar etc too.
What instruments do you use to jam together in Track Club? Walk us through your kit list and workflow
@dorolfe: First, I’ll bring up a fresh template in Ableton Live with the Endlesss Studio plug-in in a track and some sends for Endlesss and effects. Next I’ll join and see what’s happening in our jam session for the week. Depending what the ‘stock’ is like I’ll choose ingredients to add.
Often I like to add heavy bass lines, or flesh out the percussion with Red Sky Lullaby’s wonderful ‘Wavering Phases’ drum pack. But if the setting calls for it, I’ll bang out some chords on the piano or build up some pads. I use Pendulate, and Fathom, and a lot of the synths on iOS as external instruments into Live (Reason Compact, Figure, Moog Model D, Pure Acid, and the AudioKit suite).
After a few jams, I’ll sift through the Rifff history and start dragging riffs out into scenes in the Live session view. I’ll sketch out the structure of the track here by arranging the clips and scenes.
Once I have a rough draft I’ll perform it on my Launchpad X into the arrange view. I’ll start by cleaning up the timing, then I’ll create transitions, fades, builds, drops, solos, breakdowns, etc. Next I’ll create the intro and outro. I’m not very good at mastering, so I make my best effort and then let Ozone smooth it out. I’ll let some folks preview it, and fix any problems they find. Then I’ll render it, and submit it.
@firephly: I use a mix of the onboard sounds and Arturia V collection and Omnisphere as my primary VSTs in Ableton Live. I usually use Endlesss Studio in standalone mode, using loopback to route a mic and Ableton into Endlesss. I primarily use the Push 2 to control Endlesss. I pull stems directly into Ableton for producing tracks.
@deadkousin: I often stick with the onboard sounds and love to ‘sculpt’ sounds using the onboard fx. I use the microphone input for vocals and instruments (djembes, darboukas, tongue drum, shakers, etc.) and with an interface so I can sync various apps (such as Groovebox, TC-Performer, RD-4, Samplr & Figure), software synths (Seaboard, Synth One, DRC, Model D) and hardware (Kaossilator, Monotrons, Stylophone, MPC500).
@_theboundless_: I alternate between just the iOS app and sometimes plugging my whole rig into my phone with some routing (as I wait for the Windows release of Studio). I use Ableton Live suite 10, a kp3+, sometimes a TB-3, a lot of NI Komplete Plugins.. also East West stuff...and Spitfire sample libraries. As to how I make a TC track... I jam in the main just kinda poking around....until something grabs me and then I immediately export to dropbox and then fly them back in as Ableton stems and do some further refining and try and shape almost a picture of what happened in the jam and then take time to play like 1 or 2 other lines over it or write new drum patterns if it wasn't a percussive moment.
@tpj: I use the built-in Endlesss sounds and fx and AUM running apps like Animoog, Grooverider, Patterning. For production I use Ableton Live using the exported stems as audio or in Ableton Sampler/Simpler.